What does July mean to you?

June 30, 2012 | My Jottings

Over the past few years I’ve published a few posts asking you all how you feel about certain months, what those months elicit in your memories, feelings and expectations. I think I’ve asked you to tell me what September means to you, along with October, November, December and January. I’ve never asked about July.

July is one of those months that just seems very ho-hummish to me. One of my daughters even teases me a bit about it. Sharon usually asks at the end of each June, “So what are you going to do for the 4th, seeing as it’s your favorite holiday?” NOT! And she knows it’s not, so she mocks me. Can you believe a grown daughter who owes her very life to me, making fun of me about my least favorite holiday? The nerve.Β  πŸ™‚

I have no idea why the month of July doesn’t make my heart go pitter patter. I don’t have any bad memories from this particular month. Growing up in Southern California we always had fireworks and as I child I supposed I liked them well enough. I liked to write cursive words in the dark night sky with a sparkler, I remember hearing Piccolo Petes scream way past midnight back then, and we went to Disneyland a time or two to see their 4th of July fireworks show.

When my girls were little, I thought I was making a gigantic sacrifice to stay up late enough (10:00 p.m.) on the 4th of July to see our city’s fairly nice fireworks display. A few times over the years, we bundled and trundled and rumbled and mumbled and stumbled. We bundled the girls into their jammies and brought blankets in case the night air turned cool. We trundled them out to the car, which was always a station wagon. We rumbled off to a high place in the city for optimal viewing, then parked, and turned on the radio to the local station that played John Phillips Sousa music just for this occasion. I mumbled about how tired I was and wanted to go home. And then after the grand booming finale, we drove home and stumbled into our beds so we could get up the next day and talk about how beautiful the fireworks were.

One of those last sentences is false. I hope you can guess which one.

July seems to be a picnic month too. And I like the idea of picnics, but I’m not sure I appreciate actually planning and carrying out a picnic. The thought of languishing on a soft blanket under a huge, spreading tree on the banks of a beautiful river while a cool breeze ruffles the leaves, with the air full of birdsong, paired with really good food in a basket that I don’t have to tote or prepare? Throw in a good book and a season where all the spiders in that vicinity have mysteriously died, and that would be a nice picnic. Those are my conditions, and if a July picnic isn’t going to be just like that, I’m uninterested.

I guess everyone knows that Independence Day is a federal holiday commemorating my country’s adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. People in the U.S. usually celebrate with fireworks, barbecues, parades, family gatherings, carnivals and picnics.

When I think of 4th of July food fare, I think of potato salad, watermelon, any kind of barbecued meat, but especially hot dogs and hamburgers, baked beans, fresh-squeezed lemonade, and some kind of red, white and blue dessert. Like this. Or this.

But mostly what I think about in July is that I want August to hurry up and arrive. Isn’t that the silliest thing? I have the same thoughts about January. January and July are my least favorite months and I cannot explain it. If I didn’t know better, I’d suspect that years ago during the months of January and July I was kidnapped, drugged and taken into slavery, and forced to dig mines by hand deep into the earth, and finally released both times in February and August. And I’ve repressed these memories all these years, and what’s left over is that I consistently feel ambivalent (at best) about the months of January and July.

I wrote about January awhile back and how dangerous it feels to me. Don’t click on the above link if you’re afraid of icicles.

What are your thoughts about July? Do you love the month? Do you have lots of family get-togethers and food and fireworks? Is it when you celebrate your birthday? Do you revel in the hot weather? Do you work in your garden? Do you swim? Fish? If you celebrate the 4th, what kinds of things do you do?

What does July mean to you?


  1. Kay in UK says:

    Hello Julie
    Neither July OR August excite me. I suppose I’m not really a ‘summer’ person, which is a good thing this year as it looks like we won’t be having summer in England! Both Alan and I aren’t the sort of people who love going to the beach. Well, that’s not completely true. I like going to the beach in late autumn/winter when there are so very few people around – perhaps that’s what comes of living in a small, very touristy area. I love windy, crisp days on the beach.
    I’ve always love autumn the best. I love that crisp, almost undefinable smell on September mornings. At last I’ve come to realise what that smell is – it’s fear! A ‘back-to-school’ fear – that eminates from the teaching staff!
    Of course, our wedding anniversary is in September and that makes it a very special month to look forwards/backwards to.
    We don’t have much snow in this little corner of England, so January isn’t too much of a worry for me.
    Never mind, Julie. It won’t be long before the ‘C********’ word will be flashing around all over blogland! πŸ˜‰

  2. Just Julie says:

    We think alike, Kay. I’m not really a summer person anymore either. I crave autumn, cooler air and less people. I’ve always thought life would be better if autumn lasted six months and the other three season were each two. πŸ™‚ xxoo

  3. Ember says:

    This particular July is exciting because we (Hebe, Alice and me)are travelling up to York to take the stained glass panel of St Joseph Alice has made for our Carmelite friends at Thicket Priory. So looking forward to seeing them again, ad to them seeing the glass! And to afternoon tea at Bettys and evensong at the Minster . . . xx

  4. Just Julie says:

    Just the thought of the York Minster sets me to yearning, Ember. I loved visiting there. I’ll be thinking of you. And I love my little cross from Thicket Priory… xxoo Your birthday is in July too, correct?

  5. Ganeida says:

    July is midwinter here. My mum’s birthday; my twin’s birthday; my mum~in~law’s birthday; 1 of my brother’s birthdays. I’m always broke. πŸ™

  6. Just Julie says:

    I did think of you when I asked that question “do you revel in the hot weather of July?” and knew it would not apply! Wow – so many birthdays in one month. πŸ™ xxoo

  7. Carolyn says:

    I must be my mother’s daughter because I do NOT like the reality of picnics, nor the hubbub of the 4th of July. There are always too many people, the kids are up too late, too much traffic, too many bugs in the food— I’m afraid I am very boring in that regard. I can’t wait for fall!

  8. Just Julie says:

    Maybe my attitudes have rubbed off on you. Yikes. I’d better repent. Again. πŸ™‚ xxoo

  9. Larry says:

    I use to like July when I was a kid,for birthday reasons but as I have gotten older it is just another year added on but I am thankful for His blessing me with living another year. It is my desire to teach men the Word and with each year I have another chance. πŸ™‚

  10. Just Julie says:

    In five days you will be in a new decade, Lar! And you don’t look a day over 60. Maybe even younger than that. xxoo

  11. Pat says:

    July has always meant the cabin to me so I actually love the month of July. It’s also Shara’s birthday! When I think of July I think of Swift Lake and relaxing days just swimming, reading, barbecuing, bugs (there are tons of them at the cabin – we spend a lot of time in the screen house and a lot of time itching) and all that fun summer stuff. We also stay up late playing cards, visiting, eating, eating, and eating. I’m heading there tonight and also for a whole week at the end of July. Can’t wait!

  12. Just Julie says:

    Pat, if my July could be like yours (sans bugs) I think my opinion of July might change! You didn’t even mention fireworks! Books, a cabin, swimming, visiting, eating….that sounds wonderful. Thank you…xxoo

  13. Patty says:

    Aside from Ben having his birthday in July, the month has no great attraction for me. August isn’t much better, the Saratoga track will open and as they say, ‘It’s the August place to be!’ This means my work commute becomes a challenge as we are asked to wait for horses to cross the road from the track to the stable on the other side of the road. On a happy note…I do get to enjoy the pool in the back yard.

  14. Just Julie says:

    A pool, Patty? Did you say a pool? I might have to come and visit you tomorrow…. How blessed you are in that regard. Xxoo

  15. Patty says:

    You are welcome any time!

  16. Just Julie says:

    Thank you! xxoo

  17. Ginny says:

    I have always been a total squealwithdelighter regarding the fireworks! Wouldn’t miss the rootbeer floats and popcorn sitting on either Burns’ deck or screen porch (depending on the wing span of the state bird!). It was my daddy’s birthday on the 10th and we would all get together. I loved it!
    This year is soooo different….
    My basement is still upside down from the Rightbeforemy60thbirthday Flood…its new name… We worked down there yesterday breaking up cabinets to hurl out the basement window…and I couldn’t go with my Petey to Pamida in Two Harbors, smoothies from Culver’s in hand, because IT closed, I could have cared less about the fireworks because I hate the basement and it would be the last fireworks from the Burns’ deck as they are selling the house : ( AND mostest hard… my daddy is not with us. No get together because no one feels like it. So this year, July is yuky….

    BUT! I did watch John Adams and found myself deeply moved with an unction, as one called by His Name, to humble myself and pray for our country. I am so unpolitically minded that it frightens my husband, but when it comes to the spiritual condition of our country, I can get all stirred up. In the movie, George Washington placed his hand on the Bible and took his oath, then bent and kissed the Word of God…. Now did he actually do that in real life? I don’t know…but when I saw that, my heart exploded thinking of the trials this nation has faced, men of God who did their best and how there still is a remnant who love the Lord and all that His Word stands for….
    THEREFORE… I put my minor trials and saddness aside and embrace what the 4th means… Maybe I can brighten up, quit feeling sorry for myself and love this month…just because! Because I OWN A BASEMENT, I HAD MY DAD FOR A LONG TIME AND WILL SEE HIM AGAIN AND THERE WILL BE FIREWORKS NEXT YEAR…. I feel better already!!!

  18. Just Julie says:

    I always love your comments here, Ginny, and I know others do too. You preached me a mini-sermon. Thank you. I also loved “John Adams” and should watch it again. God bless you, my dear friend….

  19. L. says:

    Popping in at random here, to find yet another thing we have in common. I loathe the fourth of July, though I feel compunctious after reading Ginny’s comment above. I wonder if some of us hate summer because there’s a pressure, a terrible societal rush to “make hay while the sun shines” except there are no pressing duties, just this madness to get out and enjoy the overbearing sunshine. Which, personally, I don’t feel; the traffic and general mood just stress me out. So I have to “think French”, about the pleasures of the garden, and leisurely dinners on the porch with friends, and cool clothes and bare skin (though it takes me a while to adjust to less clothes, probably because I’m not entirely comfortable in my skin.)

    The reality, when I’m not in the right mindset, is that summer can just be an awful lot of work for a woman. And the heat more oppressive than even the iciest day.

    On the other hand, the relaxed school schedule is nice. I love being completely free of those obligations, and I don’t mind the company of my children. Some parents seem to dread it, but I like heading out with them to the tennis courts in the morning, or to play a little frisbee.

    The 4th just has a lot of bad memories for me. My parents were young and it was a huge excuse for them to get drunk with their obnoxious friends. I spent hours being bored on boats, on the banks of the Mississippi, being eaten by mosquitoes and waiting to go home!

  20. Just Julie says:

    Leah, you have put in much more eloquent words, exactly what I feel about the 4th. I said yes, yes and yes again to almost everything you wrote! I don’t have the exact parental memories you shared, but still, nothing about the 4th conjures up any truly great memories or anticipation for me. Weird, eh? It’s nice to find a kindred anti-fourth soul! xoxo

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